Dengue Fever Information Sheet by mikeholy


									                                                       Health Services Department, Public Health Branch
                                                                   Infectious Diseases Control Division

                                         Dengue Fever
                                       Information Sheet
What is Dengue Fever?
Dengue Fever is a serious illness spread by mosquitoes. It is caused by one of four serotypes of the
dengue virus. Dengue Fever occurs in tropical and sub-tropical regions around the world, mainly in
populated areas. About 100 million cases occur worldwide each year. A more severe and sometimes fatal
complication of this disease is called Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever (DHF). DHF causes extreme
hemorrhage and shock, and is more likely to develop after a second bout of Dengue Fever.

What are the symptoms of Dengue Fever?
Dengue Fever begins with a sudden, high fever; severe headache; and tremendous pain in the muscles
and joints. A measles-like rash may appear 3-5 days after the onset of fever. Recovery may be associated
with prolonged fatigue and depression. After someone has recovered from Dengue Fever, he/she will
have lifelong immunity against that virus. However, he/she may still be susceptible to a subsequent
infection by the other three viruses that cause Dengue Fever. It seldom causes death.

How Is Dengue Fever spread?
Dengue is transmitted through the bite of the female Aedes mosquito. These mosquitoes acquire this virus
while feeding on the blood of a person infected with Dengue Fever. The infected mosquitoes spread the
virus through their bite to other susceptible people. The incubation period is from 3-14 days.

How is Dengue Fever prevented?
There is no vaccine available against Dengue Fever. The best prevention is to minimize the risk of being
bitten by an infected mosquito by following these precautions:
• Protect your skin by wearing clothing that covers arms and legs.
• Where possible, stay in well-screened areas.
• Use an insect repellant that contains DEET.
• Avoid wearing perfumes and using shampoo or soap that is high in perfume.
• Eliminate mosquito breeding grounds, such as water-filled, man-made containers (e.g. old tires, metal
     drums, earthenware pots).

Is there a treatment for Dengue Fever?
There is no specific treatment for Dengue Fever. Aspirin is not to be taken. Travellers who develop flu-like
illness within two weeks after returning from areas where Dengue Fever occurs should promptly see their
                                                                                             February 4, 2003

                                    For further information, please call:
                       York Region Health Services Health Connection

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